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28 Jan 2011

Rolf Walz at Galerie Andreas Binder, Munich

Rolf Walz

Rolf Walz - Not For Sale
Galerie Andreas Binder


28 January - 19 March 2011

Andreas Binder
+49 (0)89 - 21 93 92 50
+49 (0)89 - 21 93 92 52

Galerie Andreas Binder
Knöbelstrasse 27
80538 Munich

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Rolf Walz
›Not For Sale‹

During the opening credits to the film The Train (1964), paintings by Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, Renoir, Matisse, Van Gogh and others are taken from the walls of the Jeu de Paume in Paris, packed in transport crates, and marked with the artist's name using a stencil. We see the materials, tools and hands of the Nazi officers and soldiers who carry out this art robbery in the last days of the German occupation of the city in 1944. Over this sequence of events, we are shown the various technical, composing and acting credits, and only in the seventh minute do we read the name of the director, John Frankenheimer, over shots of the emptied museum. The cargo is now on its way to the German border, by train – but it will never reach its destination.

The stills that form the basis for the twelve UV digital prints in Rolf Walz's exhibition show the moment of removing the stencils. The way the scene is lit creates high-contrast images with dark shadows lying across the crates as they are labelled with position markers, numbers and Nazi emblems. Individual moments from the opening credits are removed from the flow of the film, isolated, digitally processed and printed on wooden panels – resembling the crates.

In this way, Rolf Walz has transferred a 'live cargo' into the exhibition space, giving a strange twist to W. J. T. Mitchell's talk of 'living pictures'. The life (of images) in the film, described by Henri Bergson as a process analogous to that of everyday cognition, is interrupted and immobilized, the illusion of motion pictures as continuous is disrupted. To set the flow of images back in motion, the process of labelling is repeated – as in the film. Rolf Walz seals the crates again, and with the exhibition's title, 'Not For Sale', makes reference to the film's narrative content in an ironic critique of the relationship between art theft and art market.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Petra Löffler and Thomas Macho.